Et seems like a symbol for Russia’s military situation: in Moscow, a propagandist of the Ukraine war has gotten on the defensive himself. Anton Krassovsky, who worked for the state broadcaster RT until Monday, came out as a fervent supporter of the invasion, like his previous boss, Margarita Simonian. Among other things, Krasovsky recently celebrated rocket attacks against dozens of targets in Ukraine to introduce the new invasion commander, Sergei Surovikin, by dancing on his balcony, calling it a “fantastic day” and calling for more such attacks.
Now, in an RT conversation with a writer, he seems to have crossed the line with calls for murder against children. The writer reported that as early as 1980, “absolutely Russian, Russian-speaking” children in what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Republic spoke of the Moscow occupation. Krasovsky replied that “such children” should be “drowned” or “burned”. That is “our method”.
At the same time, Krassovsky made fun of the rapes of Ukrainian women by Russian soldiers. RT boss Simonjan only criticized the statements about the children as “disgusting” on Monday night and described the cooperation with Krassovsky as over: RT cannot allow “even the thought that one of us is capable to utter such nonsense”. Simonyan himself calls for a fight against supporters of an independent Ukraine and for the annihilation of the neighboring state, which he calls “denazification”.
She had propelled Krasovsky to a prominent (and, according to anti-corruption hunters, highly paid) position at RT. He is well known in Moscow; the FAZ was also able to experience Krassovsky’s rhetoric, which was rich in abusiveness and cursing, in a different context (it was about Krassovsky’s aid organization for HIV-positive people) at a meeting in a Moscow bar. After the attack at the end of February, his lack of restraint struck a chord with the pro-war proponents of the “Z”.
Now the person who has been fired (“It happens: you’re on the show and it gets you down”) apologized, while Putin’s political and media apparatus seemed confused: the Foreign Ministry spoke of an “attack” on Krassovsky as someone , who only tells the truth, while the House of Commons rebuked “words from an enemy of Russia” who should be arrested, whereupon the investigative committee said it was examining a “series of shrill statements” by Krasovsky.
Dissonance and Stalin rhetoric are likely to indicate nervousness. According to media reports, dozens of men who were drafted as part of the partial mobilization announced a month ago have already fallen. There are no tangible successes. Last week Putin seemed to be trying to steer clear of irritation: He responded to complaints about unpromised meager pay with a decree on a minimum amount per month, to many reports about a lack of equipment for the recruits – if not procured himself – by visiting a military training area and himself had the “mobilized” assure them in front of the state media that they lacked nothing.
General Surovikin is now responsible for bad news from the front, and he even made a state television appearance last week. The approach is reminiscent of the corona pandemic, in which Putin made himself scarce and delegated unpopular decisions to regional leaders. Now a number of them are being called upon again by Putin’s decree last Wednesday on a “state of war” in four Ukrainian regions that were recently annexed to Russia in violation of international law and on heightened alertness in Crimea, which was annexed in 2014, and a number of western Russian border regions. The Mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, who was already exposed in the pandemic, and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin are also identified as such in a separate decree as “responsible” for “requirements” within the framework of the “special operation”.
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